What is CPAP?

CPAP is an acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP is a therapy used in the treatment ofObstructive Sleep Apnea. This therapy first developed by Dr. Sullivan in 1981, is the most effective treatment for sleep apnea today. While there are many manufacturers such as Respironics, ResMed, Puritan Bennett (also known as Mallinckrodt ), DeVilbiss, Invacare, Fisher & Paykel, the technology used in CPAP therapy is still based on the original concept.

CPAP machines deliver air into your airway through a specially designed nasal CPAP mask or full face CPAP Mask. The CPAP mask/machine does not breathe for you; the flow of air creates enough pressure when you inhale to keep your airway open. CPAP is considered the most effective non-surgical treatment for the alleviation of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

 

Before the invention of the CPAP machine, a recommended course of action for a patient with sleep apnea or habitual snoring was a tracheostomy, or creating a temporary opening in the windpipe. People who have sleep apnea stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds at a time while they are sleeping. These stops can happen up to 400 times every night. The consequences of these disturbances can be serious and sometimes life-threatening. The CPAP treatment has been found to be nearly 100 percent effective in eliminating sleep apnea and snoring when used correctly and will eliminate the necessity of a surgical procedure.

Scientists estimate that approximately one in every five adults suffer from sleep-disordered breathing/Obstructive Sleep Apnea. As many as 80% of patients remain undiagnosed and untreated. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is linked with many leading health concerns including cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Sleep Disorder Breathing has also been linked with a higher risk of surgical complications, and increased hospital stays. An expanding body of scientific evidence clearly indicates that SDB has a profound negative impact on public health.
Studies conclude that the use of CPAP therapy can be instrumental in reducing hypertension cardiovascular disease and the likelihood of stroke in patients who remain compliant with their CPAP therapy.

New patients to CPAP therapy often find the CPAP therapy difficult to get used to. CPAP users often will find themselves removing the CPAP mask during the night. The rationale for this behavior is a feeling of claustrophobia or general discomfort. It is often recommended that the patient remain vigilant in use of the CPAP machines and CPAP mask. After approximately 6 weeks, the feeling of claustrophobia or general discomfort will subside. The use of a CPAP machines and CPAP mask is the only proven methods for alleviating the events throughout the night which cause patients to stop breathing. CPAP therapy is non-invasive, non-surgical, and generally low in cost. In fact, many insurance providers are beginning to realize the importance of CPAP therapy and will generally reimburse patients for many of their CPAP related costs.

Many CPAP users notice a significant difference in their sleep patterns immediately. In fact, within a day or two most patients realize a higher energy level throughout the day, a reduction in sleepiness during the afternoon, and generally feel better.